This is an interesting and comprehensive treatment of Ferguson's examination of the dominance of the West for the last half-millenium. It is well-written and mostly engaging, though it does cover some of the same ground as his "Ascent of Money," to be expected as Ferguson's interest is largely material history rather than intellectual or political history. The narration by Ferguson is for the most part good and easy to listen to. However, the rendition of the non-Scottish voices (whether by Ferguson or someone else, I can't tell) should have been dropped for a straightforward reading. The "foreign" accents are in most cases not believable, in many cases rather badly done, and in some cases risible and even offensive to the nationalities being portrayed. I still recommend the book and wish it a wide audience. It raises very important questions about the nature of "civilization" and the properties that make a civilization both viable and potentially victorious.
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